FINDING THE LIGHT IN ORLANDO

061316 ORLANDO: Friends of Amanda Alvear, who died in the shootings, hold up her photograph and a prayer chain during a vigil for family and friends that have lost loved ones drawing thousands in Orlando, Fla., Monday, June 13, 2016. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

ORLANDO: Friends of Amanda Alvear, who died in the shootings, hold up her photograph and a prayer chain during a vigil for family and friends that have lost loved ones drawing thousands in Orlando, Fla., Monday, June 13, 2016. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

These last few weeks have been a tough one for us Floridians. We are still feeling the ripples of the multiple unfortunate events that have taken place in Orlando, FL. Miami is just a couple of hours away and we feel the deep pangs of these events, along with many more people throughout the States (and even the world) who feel with us.

I’m sure you are all aware of what has been happening – so I won’t go into details here.

Instead, I would like to focus on the positive aspect of all of these tragedies. Yes, the positive, because even where there is hate, there is love and light. Many people, of all different religious backgrounds, cultural origins, and sexual orientations gathered to show their support for the fallen victims from the Orlando shooting. Muslims opened their arms to Catholics and held services together. Gay men passed out water and food for those waiting in long lines to donate blood. People of all ages all around the world lit a candle in honor of these victims. And just recently, every single passenger on a JetBlue flight gave their condolences to a grandmother of an Orlando shooting victim. No one complained about the long wait to deplane the flight; everyone asked her how she was doing and comforted her.

If that’s not humankind coming together in the face of adversity and distraught, I’m not sure what is.

This takes me back to when our nation was shaken with the September 11 attacks. Again, we had to focus on the positive from that event. We had to focus on how this one day brought us all closer together, gave us all more strength in unity, and ultimately instilled a deeper sense of pride in our nation as we held hands throughout troubled times.

What we need to focus on is the fact that there are more good people in this world, than not. The fact that we are stronger together and will prevail when faced with negativity and pain.

The simple fact that love is love is love is love.

That we will move past this.

Together. Stronger. Brighter. Fuller.

That humankind can come together when attempted to be pulled apart. That we are all in this together.